By Alex Moe, WisBusiness
When a patient is being treated for cancer, it’s often very difficult to know which treatment will work best.
Chorom Pak, president and founder of Lynx Biosciences, wants to change that.
She and her team are working on a system that lets medical oncologists determine prior to treatment which therapies will be effective for treating various blood cancers.
Their testing system, called MicroC3, works by isolating a tissue sample from the cancer patient. This sample includes both tumor cells and non-tumor cells, to see how certain medicines will interact with both types of cell as they naturally interact.
“We are incorporating normal and supporting cells, which no one else is doing right now,” said Pak, who was interviewed as part of a new business series done this fall by UW-Madison students.
This idea arose from her Ph.D work, where frustrations stemming from lack of available cancer cells for testing pushed her to team up with David Beebe, a professor of biomedical engineering at UW-Madison, to find a new way to examine these image samples.
Their current design for the MicroC3 goes beyond examination, allowing them to create a model of cancer cells as they interact with surrounding healthy tissues. This model can be used for testing, like a miniature petri dish that reacts to treatment the same way that patients’ cells do.
“We felt like we had something that could actually help patients,” Pak said. “This could be really awesome.”
A crucial benefit of the MicroC3 system is minimizing the risk of potentially mistreating the patient, using the tissue model as a guinea pig rather than the patient. Read more …